McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
In 1987, Congress passed the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, (subsequently renamed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act) to aid homeless persons. The Act defines the term “homeless children and youths” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted, amending McKinney-Vento.
What is the definition of a “homeless youth” under McKinney-Vento?
Homeless” is defined as “anyone lacking a fixed, adequate, regular nighttime residence.”What situations fit this definition?

  • Staying in the home of other people due to unavailable housing, financial hardship, or similar circumstances
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks (in some instances – examples: leaking roof, no heat, etc.), public places, or campgrounds due to unavailable suitable housing options
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing
  • Unaccompanied (not living in direct care of legal parent or guardian) or runaway youth
  • Refugee and migrant youth

How does McKinney-Vento help these students?
The law makes sure that these students receive a free and suitable public education by removing barriers to school enrollment and full, basic, daily participation in school activities. This includes:

  • Immediate enrollment
  • Free and Reduced School Lunch
  • Help from school with any necessary enrollment documents
  • Help from school setting up transportation service (if the student qualifies)
  • Help from school with getting basic uniform clothing
  • Help from school with basic school supplies
  • Help from school with any basic clothing needs
  • Help from school with basic high school graduation needs and expenses
The McKinney-Vento liaison at MaST Byberry Campus is Mrs. Katie MacConnell.  Mrs. MacConnell has served MaST Community Charter School as a high school counselor and network counselor for a number of years. As the McKinney-Vento Liaison, she is responsible for ensuring that our school is supporting the scholars and families protected by the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Act.

For more information and/or guidance, she can be reached at

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